And steak. Quinoa with goat cheese and mushroom cream sauce, and steak. Sometimes, I just need dat red meat, ya know what I'm sayin? I very frequently cook and eat vegetarian meals. While there is a slew of ethical reasons to be a vegetarian, I mostly eat this way because, quite honestly, I like it! Veggies are delicious and much easier on my wallet than meat. When I am craving some beef, I budget a lot of money for it because I feel more comfortable eating the best quality meat that I can buy. To be honest, I believe that people should budget much more for all the food they eat in general, but I digress. I felt the primal need for some steak, so I bought one and cooked it according to Ina Garten's specifications, because she puts butter on it so... I had to.
Since I spent like, all my money on dat beef, I used some pantry stuff for a side dish. Quinoa is an easy and quick grain to cook. Mushrooms are good and always go with steak, and oh! Here's a tomato! And an onion! Is that half and half in the fridge next to the giant log of goat cheese I bought 2 weeks ago? It is! Well, well, well, nice of you all to meet each other.
I decided to cook the veggies and sauce in the pan with the steak so that the flavors would meld, but this is definitely no a requirement. The quinoa will still be delicious without steak-y juices in it. I made the conscious choice to not use any spices (except salt and pepper!) in this dish because I wanted the veggies to kind of be the flavoring for the quinoa. It worked! I'll be making this again for sure! It would pair great with way more than just steak- chicken, pork tenderloin, a giant, warm, fluffy pillow of a sweet potato. So many things.
Is anyone else not strictly "vegetarian" but still cooking and eating mostly vegetarian meals? Someday, and this is not a joke, and yes it is weird, I really want to raise my own animals to eat. A hand-full of chickens, one cow, maybe a pig. I'm the type of person who mentally agonizes over if the cow I am eating had a good life, and not shockingly this usually ruins my appetite. It might sound weird, but I think if I raised the cow myself and knew it had a good life I would enjoy eating it a lot more. I'm not crazy I swear! Or am I?!? Dun dun dun!
Well, regardless of my mental health, I am not saying any of this to evangelize or shame you. I truly TRULY don't care if you eat regular generic brand ground beef while I'm over here hand feeding a cow organically grown grass clippings. It is a MIRACLE that we as a human race can mass produce enough food to feed us all, and you should do what you need to do to put food on the table.
I could go on for hours, days even, and I'm sure I will in subsequent blog posts! Stay tuned for a review of "The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food" by Dan Barber. If you are interested in food policy and ethics it's a great read! But in the mean time eat this quinoa with your entree of choice, be that a cauliflower steak or a real one.
Quinoa with Goat Cheese and Mushroom Cream Sauce
Time: 25 minutes
1 cup quinoa
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup mushrooms (any variety)
1/2 vidalia onion, halved and sliced thin
1 large tomato, cut into bite size chunks
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup half and half
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 tbsp goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
2. While quinoa is cooking, add olive oil to pan and heat over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and onion to the pan and saute until onions are soft, 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, and half and half, and simmer on law heat for 10-12 minutes.
1. When quinoa is done cooking, fluff it up with a fork and pour in your mushroom sauce. Mix sauce and quinoa until incorporated. Add goat cheese is small chunks and stir in. Serve hot with entree of choice. Enjoy!